There are many variations of the Stayman convention. The origin of this variation is unknown. This variation is employed in order to ascertain whether a Major suit fit is the better contract as opposed to a game contract in No Trump.

Explanation to Web Page

The requirements for employment of this conventional method are illustrated below. The opponents are silent.


Example 1

Opener   Responder   Meaning
1 NT   2   Stayman, asking for a 4-card Major suit.
2   3   Stayman In Doubt.
3 NT       See below for clarification.

Although the partnership has discovered an 8-card trump fit in Hearts the responder will employ the variation of Stayman In Doubt owing to the extremely flat distribution of exactly 4-3-3-3 and questionable game values. With additional values and even slam values it does not become necessary to employ Stayman In Doubt since the extra values guarantee game. Only if the scattered values are questionable does the partnership employ this conventional method.

With possible game values, which are considered scattered, and, to a degree, considered disadvantageous, the partnership is perhaps in a better position to take nine tricks rather than ten tricks in the known Major suit fit.

When holding such a flat distribution of 4-3-3-3 and scattered values, the responder will initiate the Stayman In Doubt variation, which is completely compatible with the normal Stayman conventional method. The rebid of 3 Diamonds is the inquiry by the responder showing the No Trump bidder a flat distribution of 4-3-3-3 and requesting that the No Trump bidder assume captaincy and make the final decision.

In the above example the No Trump bidder should prefer to sign off in a 3 No Trump contract. As the declarer the No Trump bidder could discover that the Queen is off side, that the King is off side, and the the opponents hold two Aces. However, a game contract in No Trump makes by proper play.

Example 2

Opener   Responder   Meaning
1 NT   2   Stayman, asking for a 4-card Major suit.
2   3   Stayman In Doubt.
4       See below for clarification.

In Example 2 the No Trump bidder, after realizing the 8-card Major trump suit fit, re-examines the quality of the holding, and discovers that the Heart suit contains three of the top five honors of that suit, and infers that partner holds the missing Queen.

The No Trump bidder should prefer a suit contract rather than a game contract in No Trump.

Note: The responder, again, must have a flat distribution of 4-3-3-3 and game values before being able to initiate the conventional method of Stayman In Doubt. Upon initiation of Stayman In Doubt the No Trump bidder becomes captain and places the final game contract either in No Trump or in a Major suit contract.

Note: The conventional method of Stayman In Doubt does not interfere with any other form of regular Stayman and is completely compatible since the variation employs the the game-forcing rebid of 3 Diamonds to communicate the flat distribution and game values.

Note: The designation of S.I.D. is also sometimes applied when referring to this conventional method, and, of course, the members of the bridge community have provided other translations such as Stayman In Distress, Stayman In Difficulty, Stayman In Deference.

Note: Those partnerships, which employ the Losing Trick Count method, will also realize that the application of this conventional method is informative. The holding in Example 1 shows seven losing tricks in the holding of the No Trump bidder and nine losing tricks in the holding of the responder. However, the holding of the No Trump bidder in Example 2 contains not only 16 points, but also seven losing tricks, whereas the holding of the responder contains eight losing tricks.

Note: The range of the No Trump can vary. The object is then to re-adjust the necessary values. The state of vulnerability does not apply to the application of the conventional method.



If you wish to include this feature, or any other feature, of the game of bridge in your partnership agreement, then please make certain that the concept is understood by both partners. Be aware whether or not the feature is alertable or not and whether an announcement should or must be made. Check with the governing body and/or the bridge district and/or the bridge unit prior to the game to establish the guidelines applied. Please include the particular feature on your convention card in order that your opponents are also aware of this feature during the bidding process, since this information must be made known to them according to the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge. We do not always include the procedure regarding Alerts and/or Announcements, since these regulations are changed and revised during time by the governing body. It is our intention only to present the information as concisely and as accurately as possible.